M BEACON SpotLight
A Study of Constitutional Issues by Topic
Issue 2: Of Slavery and Abortion
January 22, 2010
37 th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
Mere mention of the word “slavery” today
conjures up a regrettable period of American
history where men owned men, in stark contrast to
the ideals of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness
and unalienable rights discussed within the
Declaration of Independence.
Though Thomas Jefferson referred to the slave
trade within his original draft of the Declaration as
an "assemblage of horrors" and “execrable
commerce”, he owned slaves.
Many Americans today chastise Jefferson and
the other founding fathers who were slave owners
as hypocrites; few people today can understand
why these influential men did not end the travesty
Slavery, after all, was all about the strong and
powerful oppressing the weak and defenseless into
a demeaning life of drudgery according to the
whims of the slave owner.
As soon as the timetable of the Constitution
permitted (by Article I, Section 9, Clause 1),
President Jefferson signed into law an act outlawing
the trading in foreign slaves (Volume II, Statutes at
Large, Page 426, 1807 [effective January 1, 1808])
and the foreign slave trade became an act of piracy
punishable by death in 1820 (III Stat. 600).
Census numbers show the number of slaves
within the United States grew from 1,191,632 in
1810 to 3,953,760 in 1860.
Since slaves were no longer imported, the
tripling within this period therefore came from
births within the U.S. This fact provides
convincing evidence that slavery did not adversely
affect the quantity of life.
Although slavery was antithetical to liberty, it at
least allowed life. While quality of life is of great
importance, of arguably far greater importance is
The U.S. supreme Court, in their infamous
1857 Dred Scott case, upheld slavery, for that was
the only decision they were empowered to make at
the time considering the laws of the era. It was not
until the South succeeded from the Union (and out
from under the Constitution's protections of
property) that the wheels of progress and social
justice were set in motion which soon enacted laws
and amendments outlawing involuntary servitude
(except as punishment of crime) within the U. S.
That the supreme Court upheld a social travesty in
one decade but that this travesty was abolished in
the next is but a prelude of things to come.
As great an injustice was slavery, there is a far
greater injustice allowed in the United States today
against the most helpless of victims who can do
nothing in their own defense — that of aborting
Distributed by the Foundation For Liberty
Copyright 2010 by Beacon of Liberty, LLC.
It is difficult to estimate the total number of slaves
which lived in the American colonies and early States,
but with 4 million slaves alive in 1860, perhaps there
were again that many that had lived previously. It is
likely their number did not amount to more than 10-
12 million in total.
There have been an estimated 50 million abortions
carried out in the United States in the 37 bloodied
years since the U.S. supreme Court's infamous Roe v.
Wade case decided on January 22, 1973 (with many
millions more performed before this case without
apparent court sanction).
If those aborted fetuses would have instead been
allowed to come to term, and had been allowed to live
life at least as slaves, Americans today would still be
four to six times greater at fault than the travesty
allowed by our fore fathers.
Of course, these unborn children were not even
given the chance afforded a slave in early America, to
live life outside their incubator's womb (if a woman
voluntarily seeks to end the life inside her, it seems
extremely unjust to refer to her as a "mother").
Capital punishment is reserved only for the most
heinous of crimes; instead imprisonment for a term is
generally given in acknowledgment that life is sacred
even for all but the most contemptuous of the
condemned. This finding shows that incarceration, or
involuntary servitude (which no longer even stretches
to "hard labor"), is of far lesser punishment than death.
Of course, the only crime committed by the
unborn child who is voluntarily terminated at the
“choice” of another is being conceived during a period
of profound indifference and legal ignorance.
Every year, our fallen veterans are remembered on
Memorial Day for their sacrifices to maintain our life
and liberty, yet there have been numerous years where
there have been more unborn U.S. children aborted in
that single year than the total number of troops that
have died in combat in all the American wars and
skirmishes combined since the Revolutionary War
(about 1.3 million).
Most all Americans know that abortion was
legalized in America in the infamous U.S. supreme
Court case of Roe v. Wade, where the Court stated:
"We, therefore, conclude that the right to
personal privacy includes the abortion decision,
but that this right is not unqualified and must be
considered against important state interest in
Upon a careful reading of the case, however, one
will find that the court did no such thing as legalize
Finding that the right of privacy extends to the
abortion decision in no way protects and legalizes the
abortion procedure. That the term "the abortion
decision" was of utmost importance is shown by its
repeated use within the ruling.
When law is consistent, judges have no choice but
to enforce it. "Judicial activism" is merely proof of
legislative inconsistency or improper enforcement
procedures. When one law contradicts another, it is
up to the judicial system to attempt to sort out the
mess (when the legislature fails to cure their ills).
Regarding Roe v. Wade, one must clarify the
implications of the ruling. It is easier to understand a
simple example: if the police capture a purse snatcher
but fail to uphold law and proper procedure during the
arrest or in the gathering of evidence (to uphold the
principles of "Due Process", "innocent until proven
guilty", etc.), then it is quite possible that the judge or
jury will let the criminal go free without punishment.
It is absolutely incorrect to infer from this hypothetical
case that purse snatching was made legal, however.
So too is it important to understand the legal
implications in real cases such as Roe v. Wade.
When a doctor commits the crime of abortion
where such a procedure is properly and consistently
made illegal, then that doctor and the willing pregnant
participant can and will suffer the prescribed
punishments when found guilty, just as any other
crime properly delineated and enforced.
Fiowever, when a doctor commits the crime of
abortion where such procedure is inconsistently made
illegal, then both the doctor and the patient may quite
likely go free without punishment. This is all that
occurred in Roe v. Wade.
The remedy, of course, is to remove inconsistencies
at law, not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
The Beacon SpotLight: Issue 2: Page 2
The 1973 Court brought to light the
inconsistencies of the abortion law of Texas under
which "Roe" was being tried. The Court even
footnoted (without comment) Wisconsin's clear law
that an "unborn child" was "a human being from the
time of conception until it is born alive". Such a clear
definition proves impenetrable to court activism when
The right to personal privacy may well include the
"abortion decision", but these expressly-limited words
do not in any way stretch to include the "abortion
procedure". Such procedures are well within the
prescribed authority of the state to limit.
Planned Parenthood has become the leading
provider of abortions in the United States over the 37
years since Roe v. Wade. It is difficult to defend
against the argument that Planned Parenthood has
grown into a self-serving business organization that
promotes abortion to maintain and increase its budget
Even its radical founder, Margaret Sanger, no
stranger to controversy herself, wrote in opposition to
"While there are cases where even the law
recognizes an abortion as justifiable if
recommended by a physician, I assert that the
hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in
America each year are a disgrace to civilization"
(Woman and the New Race ).
Sanger was a fervent proponent of birth control
and even sterilization, but not abortion. Some of
Sanger's notoriously memorable quotes are (from her
book, The Pivot of Civilization ):
"The emergency problem of segregation and
sterilization must be faced immediately. Every
feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary
type, especially of the moron class, should be
segregated during the reproductive period.
Otherwise, she is almost certain to bear imbecile
children, who in turn are just as certain to breed
other defectives. The male defectives are no less
dangerous. Segregation carried out for one or
two generations would give us only partial
control of the problem."
"Moreover, when we realize that each feeble¬
minded person is a potential source of an
endless progeny of defect, we prefer the policy
of immediate sterilization, of making sure that
parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble¬
Planned Parenthood was formed by Sanger when
she found that she needed a "cosmetic" change for her
earlier organization, the American Birth Control
League, which had developed too much of a "Nazi
smell" of racial purification to continue to grow its
influence (not that Sanger renounced her positions).
Indeed, almost four times as many black women
and two and a half times as many Hispanic women
have abortions today as compared with white women.
It is well past time that leaders of minority ethnic
groups begin to understand the devastating effect
abortion has on their race and their psyche, and learn
that abortion is not about "choice" but racial and
hereditary purity and eradication of the poor.
Advocates of state-sanctioned abortion tell horror
stories of young women of yesteryear aborting their
fetuses in back rooms with coat hangers to support
their contention that abortion is the lesser of two evils.
However, such practices were from a time when
social mores were such that an unwed mother was
socially blacklisted from her community and the
resultant shame of a growing belly without a ring on
the finger affected families in ways which are
essentially irrelevant today. The very loosening of
society's moral compass against unwed mothers and
even teenage pregnancies has undermined one of
abortion's most potent historical arguments.
Abortion is now sold on convenience and freedom
from accountability than anything else. Inconvenience
and irresponsibility are hardly shining principles to
rally around when life and death are concerned.
The manner by which society protects its most
vulnerable foretells its future. Abortion, as slavery, will
inevitably be but a dark footnote in American history.
Americans may well soon be judged, but it is not the
framers of our government which bear the greatest
The Beacon SpotLight: Issue 2: Page 3
Distributed by the Foundation For Liberty
Copyright 2010 by Beacon of Liberty, LLC.